If someone put a gun to your head and asked you to choose; your money or your life, I’m pretty sure that you would choose life. Why is it then, that on a daily basis, most of us choose money?
Maybe the “gunpoint” becomes obscured by our chores, our obligations and our stuff. Maybe some of us think the gunpoint is too far away to be a threat or maybe some of us never thought the gunpoint was ever there. And so, without any threats, money is the natural choice.
After all, money brings us our creature comforts, our entertainment and our security - the things that bring “happiness”. Why would anyone give that up.
Friends and family, although excited about our trip, constantly cock an eyebrow as if to ask “why would two people who appear to be reasonably sane and reasonably intelligent leave two perfectly good jobs during a recession and bleak job market to drain their life savings?”
No, we are not “trust funders”, “financial wizards” or even “well off”. We are middle class working stiffs like most of America. We work with a financial counselor to try to be responsible by putting what we can into retirement accounts, college funds and investments. Still, even with planning, why would someone take such a great risk during an unpredictable economy?
The simple answer would have to be opportunity. The opportunity to live life. America IS the land of opportunity. I imagine spending 14 months living in third world countries has shaped my perspective in a way that could only happen by leaving the US borders. During my travels, I saw many people who had NO opportunity for education, jobs, healthcare or advancement due to governmental, cultural or societal restrictions. Trying to provide food to keep their families alive was their single focused goal. Creature comforts, entertainment and security didn’t have a place in their lives.
I have not forgotten the faces or the places that had this impact on me. So, I feel compelled not to waste any opportunities that I have. And, I DO have the opportunity to get into my vehicle with my family, travel freely throughout the US in relative safety, with grocery stores and medical care on practically every corner. And, when the trip is over, although it may be a challenge, there will be opportunities to move on in what ever way we choose.
The opportunity is there. Which do you choose? Your money or your life?
“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” Mark Twain